2018 Marks 100 Years of Catholic Schools in Scotland But… What’s The Point?

2018 Marks 100 Years of Catholic Schools in Scotland But… What’s The Point?

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…  24 November, 2017…  

Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says

Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools
The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.

In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an ­opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”

Negative voices

He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’

“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.

“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.

“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”

Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at ­possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.


In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.

“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.

SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.

The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.

Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.

On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.

The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.

Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.

Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.

For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers.   [Emphases added]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer


Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic education masks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism.   Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith.  Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism.  Below, some  examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…

Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate.  Click here to read a previous post on this subject. 


Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days.  So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?

Comments (27)

  • Josephine

    Absolutely no way are Catholic schools doing a good job.

    I don’t care about the exam results, because I can find a school anywhere with good exam results. I can’t find a school where the pupils are knowledgeable about the Catholic faith and practise it. That’s what we need them for, nothing else.

    I see that there is a minority who voted that the schools are succeeding in Scotland, so I hope one of them comes on here to explain what that success is, LOL! It’s not at all obvious to most of us!

    November 27, 2017 at 1:43 pm
    • editor


      “I see that there is a minority who voted that the schools are succeeding in Scotland, so I hope one of them comes on here to explain what that success is, LOL! It’s not at all obvious to most of us!”

      Hear hear! I am in full agreement with you on this – let them come on if they dare, and defend the disgraceful record of Catholic schools in Scotland for not only failing to teach the Faith in its entirety, but encouraging immoral behaviour by creating “safe spaces” for alleged “LGBT pupils”.

      Anyone looking to flaunt their “LGBT” status (if there really are such pupils) should be directed to the nearest non-denominational school.

      November 27, 2017 at 4:50 pm
  • Lily

    I completely agree. I can’t see how Catholic schools can be doing their job if the kids are lapsing even before they’ve left, as Daphne McLeod has pointed out many times.

    The illustrations from the Baltimore Catechism are excellent – that is the way to get the Faith across, instead of making it seem dry as dust. I bet the one on divorce especially will start many discussions! Most of the children today seem to belong to broken families, but that is no reason to keep the truth from them that God wants people to stay married or at least not to divorce and remarry.

    November 27, 2017 at 2:26 pm
    • editor


      Correct – the Baltimore Catechism series is terrific. And the illustrations work perfectly. I know a home-schooling family where they go down a treat with the children. So easy to get a discussion going, as you say. Begin with the teaching of the Church which comes from God, talk about why it is right and if adhered to makes for happiness and THEN talk about what happens when people use their self will to choose the opposite of what God wants. MUCH easier for pupils to understand than “look at how we live today, divorce and remarriage, live together and then move on to another partner, trail of emotional distress, a number of children with different fathers/mothers…. but the alternative is a wicked God who says you can’t get divorced…

      Personally, I’ve never met a pupil who didn’t see the wisdom of The Maker’s Instructions, even if (? because) they have experienced the carnage…

      November 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      You mention Daphne McLeod but for all her criticism of Catholic schools, she has never advocated doing away with them. That’s what I don’t understand.

      If they really are as bad as they seem to be (and with the majority of youth lapsed before they even leave school, I think they are) what, really, IS the point of keeping them?

      November 27, 2017 at 8:46 pm
      • Michaela

        Margaret Mary,

        I think Daphne McLeod’s argument is that if we close the Catholic schools, then we won’t get them back when the Church crisis is over. It’s better to hold on to them until that happens. I think that’s wise.

        November 27, 2017 at 11:09 pm
  • gabriel syme

    As far as I can see, modern Catholic schools in Scotland provide good learning environments and are in general well run institutions.

    However, they are completely spurious when it comes to educating pupils about the Catholic faith. They simply do not do this. Nothing tangible is taught regarding the faith and pupils do not learn or experience anything worthwhile about Catholicism.

    I have stated before that I learned nothing of worth about Catholicism, after 13 years in Catholic schools. My understanding of the faith leaving school could be summarised as:

    – God created us because He loves us
    – Jesus was born in a stable
    – Jesus died on a cross because He loves us
    – The jews are brilliant
    – The protestants are brilliant
    – The muslims are brilliant

    Needless to say, there isn’t much to get ones teeth into there and so the lapsation rate is hardly surprising.

    Perhaps the best indicator of how poor the schools are at forming Catholic minds is the obviously stagnant, moribund state of the Scottish Church. Populated almost entirely by lay people who are in-fact following their own invented religion and reduced to fast-tracking pensioners for ordination, the Church relies on inward immigration just to hold its place in Scottish society. (Immigration which may soon dry up, due to Brexit).

    As with most of its ventures in the modern day, the Church could get so much more out of its schools – if only if it was prepared to make the effort. By now it can be seen that integrating the schools into the state system has been an obvious error, given the dominant secular influence they are subjected to. I think a system like France would be best, where the schools are outside the State system, but still funded by parental tax contributions.

    I think the functionaries of the SCES etc genuinely think they are doing a brilliant job for Catholicism with these schools, a completely erroneous view which is another useful yardstick for the crisis.

    I agree entirely with what Josephine says – any type of school can produce good exam results, but if Catholic schools are not producing well informed Catholics, then what is the point?

    November 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      As ever on this topic, you offer a concise and comprehensive analysis of all that is wrong with Catholic schools, albeit that it makes very sad reading.

      Your list is spot on and the final three items, hilarious! I really did laugh out loud when I read them!

      November 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Gabriel Syme,

      I agree that you list is hilarious –

      – The jews are brilliant
      – The protestants are brilliant
      – The muslims are brilliant


      You make some great points and I completely agree with you. Catholic schools have sold out to the secular culture and are not longer truly Catholic. That is terribly sad. I was fortunate to attend a good Catholic school before the Council and I attribute that good fortune to the fact that I’ve kept the faith to this day. God help the young attending modern Catholic schools. Poor souls.

      November 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm
  • RCAVictor


    I think this quote from the new newsletter is highly apropos to why the Catholic Faith has disappeared from “Catholic” schools:

    “Giving evidence to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament today (15th June 2017) Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office claimed; “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their faith.”

    That is, it appears the bishops and their education hirelings are afraid of what the world thinks about the Faith (i.e. the Truth), afraid of being denounced by orchestrated “outrage,” afraid of losing human respect, afraid of being “left behind the times,” afraid of being labeled with a variety of pejorative labels….and lately, afraid of being punished by the Pope for failing to embrace the Satanic agenda of the United Nations!

    What a tragedy that this sniveling fear has replaced their fear of God. I suggest ++Tartaglia re-think his “celebration.” A year of mourning would be more appropriate.

    November 27, 2017 at 4:07 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Well, I’m more than a little pleased to have a quote posted from our What The Papers Say column in the current, December newsletter, not least because it only went online a couple of hours ago! So, thank you for making my day!

      And that quote by itself reveals the hypocrisy of the entire ecumenical blether. Far from making it easier to be a Catholic, the ecumenical agenda coupled with the blatant secularist/permissive sexual agenda makes it impossible to speak out about our Faith and good Morals without being labelled extremist and charged with “hate” crimes. Incredible. The two-faces of the Catholic establishment are highlighted in that column; the pretence when meeting leaders of non-Catholic communities and the reality when giving evidence to Parliament. Priceless. If only they would join up the dots and refuse to speak with forked tongues, they would save themselves a lot of embarrassment, never mind time admitting to spreading falsehoods in the confessional!

      November 27, 2017 at 4:40 pm
  • Nicky

    I was discussing this topic with someone and she asked me if I would recommend sending her daughter to a Catholic or non-denominational primary school when she is due to start next summer. I found it hard to say it but in the end I said non-denominational.

    November 27, 2017 at 10:52 pm
    • Michaela


      It would be better if parents who know about the crisis (not all do) sent their children to Catholic schools and then held them to account. So, I think it’s a pity that you recommended your friend use the non-denominational primary. If all the parents who are aware of the state of things used the Catholic schools and insisted on them teaching the faith, that would help improve things, surely?

      November 27, 2017 at 11:11 pm
      • crofterlady

        I have to disagree. I wouldn’t dream of sending my children to a so-called Catholic school. Call them to account? That’s a laugh! The bishops and the Catholic establishment have long ago sold out to the liberal agenda, and worse. For your trouble you’d only get mega headaches and your children would be discriminated against. It’s too late for your suggestion, Michaela. The only answer is to home educate if possible and, if not, to send the children to a non denominational school, remove them from “social and religious” classes and teach them the Faith at home.

        November 28, 2017 at 7:26 pm
  • Deacon Augustine

    I don’t know about the Catholic schools in Scotland, but in England & Wales the statistices provided by the Catholic Education Service show that 94% of pupils lapse by the age of 16. They are a waste of space, money and resources.

    Speaking to a bishop last week his opinion was that in the next 10 years we will have the same situation with the schools that we had with the adoption agencies. However, many bishops will be loathe to give them up because the schools are the only tangible nod to the bishops being “stakeholders” in wider society. Consequently there is likely to be increased division within the Church about what to do with them. More orthodox bishops will want to ditch them because they won’t want to be party to the corruption of the young through the teaching of secular curricula and immorality, whereas more worldly bishops will want to hang on to them as status symbols.

    It is going to get very messy, but if you give a fig about your children’s eternal souls, avoid them like the plague. They can get good academic education anywhere else without the Gramscian Marxist ethos of the Catholic educational establishment, and they won’t have to put up with the peer pressure of so-called Catholic students and so-called Catholic teachers. They should be educated in the faith at home – that is the only place they can rely on getting the truth. Any parent who does not feel equipped to educate their children in the faith needs to get their finger out and start with themselves.

    I can understand why some want to hang on to the schools in the hope they will get better when the Church emerges from the current apostasy, but its a false hope. Even if the Church in these islands regained her faith overnight, the perverts in government in our countries will not allow the full Catholic faith to be taught for much longer. It is better to get rid of the schools sooner rather than later and do something useful with the money instead.

    November 27, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    • Michaela

      Deacon Augustine,

      But what about the unaccountability of non-denominational schools for bringing in groups like Stonewall to brainwash children, even in primary schools, about LGBT rights?

      Catholic parents wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, if they complained because those schools are committed to the government line on everything, and as we know, the government is committed to pushing the LGBT agenda?

      Apart from homeschooling, which doesn’t suit everyone due to work, economics etc. there isn’t a lot of choice for parents. At least in Catholic schools they can fight the LGBT lobby and look forward to a time when sanity will return to the Church and her schools.

      November 28, 2017 at 11:50 am
      • Deacon Augustine


        The only schools I know of personally which have invited Stonewall in to brainwash children have been “Catholic” primary schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

        In contrast, the local state schools which my children attended were decidely leery about pushing any particular agenda. Similarly with “sex education” the programmes followed by Catholic schools are far worse than those followed by state schools.

        There is a very left-wing social agenda which permeates the Catholic education system and which results in Catholic schools being in the vanguard of pushing the latest social fads and depravities. State schools (around here at least) tend to be less enthusiastic about pushing the government line and are perhaps more sensitive to the variety of backgrounds which their pupils come from. Maybe they are more concerned about facing a mob of angry muslim parents…..

        November 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm
  • Athanasius

    Catholic schools in Scotland are Catholic in name only, they are no different from secular schools. I think the statistics mentioned by Deacon Augustine for England and Wales are doctored by the Catholic Education authorities because a majority of Catholic children have never had the Catholic Faith put into them to lose. Catholic youth today, for the most part, are no different in belief and morals from their pagan peers.

    You have to laugh through the tears at Archbishop Tartaglia promoting Catholic education, as if there was still something of unique significance to promote. This is the Archbishop who, together with a few of his predecessors, managed to close all five of the seminaries Scotland had acquired in the last 100 years. I mean, talk about bold cheek! The Faith is largely lost in Scotland thanks to Modernists like Archbishop Tartaglia and his Conciliar confreres both here and south of the border. They are as blind as bats!

    November 28, 2017 at 1:54 am
    • Lily


      “This is the Archbishop who, together with a few of his predecessors, managed to close all five of the seminaries Scotland had acquired in the last 100 years. “

      That is so true – if they can’t keep seminaries open, what chance is there of the schools improving? It’s all so very sad. “They are as blind as bats” as you say.

      November 28, 2017 at 11:58 am
      • Athanasius


        Yes, it brings the hyocrisy right out into the daylight.

        November 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm
  • laotzuthomas

    I think Catholic education is suffering everywhere, and is marginally better than a purely secular education today. I would guess it is somewhat better in Poland where a million people prayed the Rosary on October 7th! It has to be, doesn’t it?

    The Catholic modernist hierarchy had a hand in it too when they instituted “religious liberty” or indifferentism at Vatican II, greatly affecting once Catholic countries. Where I’m located, most Catholic schools are funded by the state and of course there are strings attached. The liberal episcopal conferences for the most part comply with the most liberal objectives of the secular governments where education is concerned.

    Unless parents can get to a school based on Catholic tradition, parents would need to home school their children to ensure that they receive a proper Catholic education. For many this would entail a great sacrifice.

    November 28, 2017 at 7:16 am
    • Lily


      I’m not sure about the rosary event being a sign that the Polish have received a better Catholic education. You find that people can be pious without knowing much about dogma and even morality. It’s a strange thing, but I think that sometimes explains countries where the people love processions etc but still lapse and even join Pentecostal groups. It is a big mystery.

      November 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm
  • westminsterfly

    They’ve just built an enormous Catholic school near me, and I have wondered about it as I go past it. Is the Faith being taught there? I very much doubt it.

    November 28, 2017 at 11:10 am
  • Lily

    This is a very worrying report and the comments near the end about the seal of confession send a shiver down the spine.

    November 28, 2017 at 11:56 am
    • Athanasius


      The godless have been trying to find ways of forcing the Church to break the seal of Confession for hundreds of years and failed. It is a divine Sacrament whose seal is guaranteed by God in all cases. Any priest who breaks that seal would most likely lose his own immortal soul as a result, automatic excommunication being the penalty for such a sacrilege. The Church will never bow to liberal pressure to breach the Sacrament.

      November 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm
  • RCAVictor

    The dissipation of Catholic education was, I think, a vital element in the dissipation of Catholic identify that was blueprinted at Vatican II, in order to pave the way for a new world “religion” of man. After all, you can’t destroy the Mass, the priesthood, the seminaries and the religious orders, yet have young people still being educated in the traditional Faith! Horrors!

    The Freemasons are predictable in their plans: they plot to control finance, governments, education and the means of communication to achieve their brutal totalitarian end. However, they are also predictable in their amnesia: their god was cast into hell by St. Michael, and there he shall remain, tortured for eternity, and eternally subject to the Divine Justice.

    Now, if only the bishops would remember that as well….

    November 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm
  • Helen

    Aha, success! I’ve been having trouble logging in. Must be the house move.

    As somebody said above, Catholic schools are to be avoided if you want your children to remain Catholic.

    November 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm

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